Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Fail (Year 2)

All Hallow's Eve.  I love Halloween.  As a kid, of course I did.  The candy.  The pageantry.  The candy.  And the cartoons (candy candy candy!).  But as an adult I rediscovered the awesomeness of Halloween through new eyes.  No, not the eyes of a child but through the eyes of a former colleague, a Japanese man experiencing his first Halloween.  Every time he opened his door he was so completely and genuinely bowled over.  

"Aww, you're an alien!"  "Oh man, I love batman!"  "Are you a carton of milk??? Oh wow!"  

And really, how awesome is it that we as a nation come together to celebrate making robot suits out of cardboard boxes, or applaud dads who transform wheelchairs into ice cream trucks?  

are those... robot boobies?  (a)
Yeahhhh baby, you like mah ride?  (b)

I had hoped that this year's Plan B would trump last year's heartbreak, eagerly watching out the windows for trick-or-treaters who would never come.  I thought hey, let's go to one of the local squares, have dinner and watch the boys and ghouls in all their finery.  Oakley Square.  Bullet Proof.  

wah wah.  

We did see three or four teenagers in outfits.  But maybe they dress like that nowadays.  
Three or four total is still a total improvement over last year.  Seems the rain and chill wind kept a lot of kids from covering the ground they normally could.  Frown.  Maybe if the weather was nicer we'd have seen more, or maybe trick-or-treaters don't cross Oakley Square as much as I'd imagined.  I'll need to have a think about next year.  How can I see people* in costumes when they don't come to our block?  Ideas? 

I don't mean watching Cats or Thriller.  Although I should totally watch Thriller, as I have yet to do so this season.  I mean Kids, in costume.  Obviously.  Not people in general.  Because this is wholesome.  Your child is a cat.  Bam.

Look at this.  Adorable.  (1)

Grown people in costumes?  No.  
Do not bring to my door.  No. (2)  
This appeals to some people, but it's not something I enjoy looking at.  
Now, cats in costumes, by contrast, are pretty enjoyable.  

Apparently this is Anne of Green Gables (3)
I mean, which would you rather look at?  
More of this stuff.  Yeah. 

hee hee hee hee (4)

Wow.  this post was 10% content and 90% tangent.  
Sorry about that.  Next time:  Fall Colors

Photo Credits 
1) cannot find source...
3) Slate

Friday, October 26, 2012

The 100

Here we all in fall.  A gorgeous fall.

I have three unfinished posts saved as drafts on my blogger account, but keep getting derailed. By life.  By responsibilities.  By the new job, you know.  But nothing has been so diverting and consuming of my free time lately than scifi.

For some reason, it became imperative for me to read the books on NPR's top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy (circa 2011).  Perhaps you've seen this?  

I have been reading science fiction and fantasy since my girlhood.  Loved the stuff.  My enjoyment tapered. Got burned.  Burned by my love for scifi.   The quality of books I picked up seem to wane, and sometimes to plummet. This or that book had been well -reviewed but turned out to be crashingly awful.  For example, a friend of mine swore to me that the Host was good science fiction (blergh).

For awhile I would chose authors based on their track record with me.  If they had written good books in the past I'd gleefully pick up their newest book and think "Yay! It's like being reunited with [trusted and interesting friend] or [musician cousin with anecdotes far more awesome than my own]."  Sometimes it paid off.  Sometimes: wham.  Poorly-written novel after poorly-plotted linear fantasy.  Cringe-worthy dialogue and recycled characters.  Now that I think about it, it didn't occur to me that maybe my selection criteria was flawed.  How did my choices turn out so poorly?  Did I take home books based on pretty cover art?  Or intriguing title font?  Not that I judge books by their covers.  (sometimes I do.)  

Fail to pick a winner a few times, and it's just no fun to gamble anymore.  So I stopped picking up scifi and fantasy.  Little did I know, I just needed to be pointed in the right direction.  

SF Signal has this flowchart for you
There were books on NPR's list that I had read, of course.  Like I said, I've covered lots of literary ground in those scifi/fantasy stacks.  But there were so many more on the list that I hadn't.  I was surprised by how many I'd never even known about.  There are some real gems out there!  I've been so pleased.  Not with Asimov's Foundation, mind you. Not pleasing, that one. Nor the plodding and yet smug Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell.  By and large though, I have this list to thank for reacquainting me with Heinlein, and introducing me to some great classics that I'd never heard of (!).    

36 down.  64 to go.  

Don't think that all this reading means I haven't been enjoying the beautiful autumn colors outside.  I have gotten out.  I multitask.